Issue July 10, 2014 - July 16, 2014

briefs Board of Education shakes
up BHUSD school administration Page 3
briefs Government Affairs Committee
to host Allen and Fluke Page 5
cover stor|es º pages 6-9
Straight talk with the
Congressional candidate in a
Weekly exclusive
BHPOA President Detective
David Williams discusses their
new board
Who is
Elan Carr? Rank and File
guest column Jonathan
Prince on the Board Page 5
Page 6 Beverly Hills Weekly
coverstory
WHO IS ELAN CARR?
Stra|ght ta|k w|th the 0oogress|ooa| caod|date |o a
week|y exc|0s|ve
By Nancy Yeang
The Weekly sat down with 33rd
Congressional district candidate Elan Carr
and his wife Dr. Dahlia Lainer Carr.

Dahlia, you are a 1991 Beverly High
graduate. Tell us about that and being a
Madrigal Singer.
Dahlia: Beverly Hills High School is a
very special place. I came to Beverly from
an orthodox Jewish based school [also in
Beverly Hills], so it was a bit of a shock.
I graduated [from] Hillel [Hebrew
Academy] in eighth grade. In ninth grade I
started at Beverly [High]. It was very new,
I didn’t know very many students there, but
it’s a great school [and] a great community.
Beverly Hills is wonderful. It’s a small town
in the middle of a large metropolis. Beverly
High has that feeling of a small community
high school but with the resources, the won-
derful teachers and wonderful academics in
a large urban center. I loved it.
I found my niche when I was part of the
[performing arts] department; drama, choir,
[and the] Madrigals. I was very fortunate to
work with [the late] Joel Pressman and he
was a great teacher [and] a great mentor. It
was a very special place to go to high school.
Elan: It’s a special place for me as well
even though I didn’t go to school there
because a Beverly [High] classmate of
Dahlia’s introduced us. That’s how we met.
So I have loyalty to Beverly [High].

Dahlia, your mom Esther Lainer runs the
Olympic Pharmacy in Beverly Hills.
Dahlia: My mom is a pharmacist. For
many years she was the head pharmacist
at the Thrifty, which is now Rite Aid on
Canon [Drive]. In about 1987, one of her
co-pharmacists, Vida [Hakimfar], [and she]
decided that they wanted to open up a phar-
macy together and they did on the corner of
Olympic and La Peer.
Elan: They didn’t take over a different
pharmacy.
Dahlia: They did not. They started it from
scratch and they’re one of the last remain-
ing, small, community pharmacies that we
have around. She has quite a loyal following.
She’s been a fixture in that strip mall for over
30 years. It’s pretty amazing.
Elan: She’s an old school pharmacist in
the way that she treats.
Dahlia: She’s a chemist. I’m a doctor and
I will often find myself calling her [with]
certain questions about certain medications
or concoctions that she knows better than I.
She’s really an invaluable resource for not
only her patients but to other people in the
health care profession. She’s really a very
special lady.
My brother [Arik Lainer] is also a doctor.
My brother and I would say that our mother
was our doctor growing up. We saw her as
an example of a health care professional who
was very passionate about helping people.
That was absolutely who she is and what
she’s about. My brother and I both saw that
in her and wanted to really emulate her and
be like her.

Dahlia, you mentioned that you’re a
physician. Do you ever talk about health
care policy with Elan?
Dahlia: Of course.
Elan: I always say that Dahlia is my secret
weapon in this campaign. These anecdotes
we hear in the news, she sees it every day.
Patients come in and their health plans are
canceled or they say, “My primary doctor
doesn’t take insurance,” so now it’s gone to
a cash practice. [Dahlia] really lives these
issues.

How do these conversations come up?
Dahlia: Often, I’ll tell him, “Guess what?
A patient of mine came in today and they are
on one of the California Choice plans and
this is what they were complaining about and
this is the issue.”
Elan: This was before I entered the race
by the way.
Dahlia: It’s a problem we talk about a lot.
Our health care system has been problematic
for some time. It has been in need of repair
and we’ve been seeing this build up. We’ve
been discussing this for years.
Elan, how do you respond to people who
say, “Great candidate, wrong party,”
since the district is overwhelmingly
Democratic?
Elan: I think it’s a different time. I think
people today are far more inclined to look
at issues and to look at candidates. My cam-
paign is about issues and it’s about solutions.
It’s not about labels.
Now, some people invariably say, “I vote
X,” or “I vote Y,” because some people will.
But I think the majority of voters today [are
frustrated], and the frustration stems from
the hyper partisanship we see in Washington
where people are unwilling to compromise,
reach across the aisle, work with others
and move the country forward. I share that
frustration, a lot of voters do. I know Dahlia
does.
My campaign is about solutions and I say,
without any hesitation, I’m about reaching
across the aisle and working with others to
fashion real solutions to the real problems
affecting us. That’s getting a lot of traction.
We’re seeing a good number of crossover
voters.

In what ways do you feel voters are
reaching out to you without considering
party affiliation?
Elan: Every event I attend [is] not [a]
Republican [event]. Every event I attend,
whether it’s a fundraiser event or simply
a community event, is well attended by
Democrats. Not an event goes by where
Democrats don’t come up to me and say,
“You’re our guy.” Sometimes they’re institu-
tional type Democrats, not just, “Well, I hap-
pen to be a Democrat.” They’re people who
are involved in the Democratic Party. One of
the people who got me to run for this office
is a Democrat who’s a Democratic election
lawyer. I’m being endorsed by Democrats.
People are more ready than ever before to
look at the candidates and to look at solu-
tions. That’s how it should be. I don’t want
people voting for me simply because of party
affiliation. I want people to say, “I care about
solutions,” or, “I want to move the county
forward.” That’s how we should vote in
every election.
We’re very excited about the climate.
It’s unfortunate that there’s so much well
deserved frustration with Washington D.C.

You’ve said in a previous interview with
the Weekly in Issue #750 that Washington
D.C. is in a state of gridlock and
dysfunction. Tell us about what you will
do differently.
Elan: Push the issues that we care about.
It’s not a mystery. We care about the flight
of businesses and jobs in California. People
care about schools and education. The fact
that our schools, by and large, [are] not
worthy of our children, that’s unaccept-
able in this country and in this state. People
are concerned about safety about protecting
American families.
The way to make a difference is to say,
“This is what I was elected to do [and] this
is what I’m going to do,” and to reach across
the aisle and compromise and say, “Let’s put
labels, party and blame aside.”
I was interviewed by a reporter [who]
was baiting me and said, “Are you running
against the President?” I said, “I’m not run-
ning against anybody.” I’m running for a
better future. There’s plenty of blame to go
around. If we want to portion blame both
sides can do that with quite some justifica-
tion, but I’m not interested in doing that.
However, we got into the mess that we’re
in. Fine, let’s now talk about a better future,
about moving the country forward. I think
that’s what voters want, that’s what voters
deserve; moving the country forward, and
that’s what our elected leaders should be
doing.

Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) was
recently named as House Majority
Leader. Do you feel this is good for
California?
Elan: I think it is. He’s a good guy, I
know him. He’s very conscientious and I
think he’ll do a terrific job. I’m actually very
excited about it.
You mentioned that the education system
is not worthy of our children. What
would you specifically do to improve the
education system?
Elan: I’m a gang prosecutor. I prosecute
17, 18, 19-year-old kids. I get to know my
defendants, I see where they come from and
it’s heart wrenching. They come from ruined
communities [and] ruined schools.
Classrooms need to be safe, disciplined
[and] nurturing places for our children. When
class gets out, there needs to be after school
programs so that our kids don’t have to
define themselves and derive self-worth from
criminal street gangs. That’s why they go to
street gangs. Gangs offer them peer support.
Gangs offer them a feeling of importance, of
power, and of self-actualization. Everyone
wants to feel important [and] everyone wants
Hannah, Dahlia Lainer, Sam, Elan, and Rachelle Carr
July 10-July 16, 2014 Page 7
to feel that they’re doing something. Shame
on us for not giving them healthy, safe vehi-
cles for doing that and they have to derive
this sustenance from criminal street gangs.
A classroom is a place of structure and
discipline. You can’t learn if a teacher is
not invested, passionate and competent. It
doesn’t create a safe learning environment.
I’m not saying all [classrooms are like that].
I’m a product of a public education. I went to
a public high school, Dahlia went to a pub-
lic high school, and we both went to public
universities. We know that public school can
work. I’m not in any way suggesting that
there aren’t wonderful examples, we’re prod-
ucts of it. But that shouldn’t be the exception.
That should be the rule. In far too many
cases, especially in the inner cities, schools
are a place of total chaos and gang activity.
I’m very proud to have the endorsement of
a very publicly involved Democrat; he was
president of Harvard Democrats. He grew up
in an El Salvadorian neighborhood [in a Los
Angeles inner-city] who had to tutor gang
members for protection. That’s crazy that we
have schools like that. [He] is an example of
a terrific kid who worked hard and ended up
getting a scholarship to Brentwood School,
then a scholarship to Harvard University and
became president of Harvard Democrats.
Now, he’s an inner-city teacher [and] came
back to L.A. to try to fix the problems that he
grew up with. I’m so proud leaders like that
are endorsing me.
Now, how would I do that? Federal appro-
priations. We appropriate a lot of money
[and] a lot of it’s wasted. We need to be
smarter in the way we appropriate money.
When the federal government appropriates
money for education there has to be targets
[for] after school programs and job training
in the schools. We all know about targets that
exist now, [such as] the common core, but
what about teachers [being] paid at a certain
level that’s indexed to the average salary in
a community? That would overnight elevate
the teaching profession to the place it should
be. How about federal appropriate conditions
that have to do with teacher accountability
and that teachers have to be evaluated and
be [held] accountable for their performance?
These are things that can be done right away
that would work immediate changes and I
think we need to do it.
[There have been] decades and decades of
too much talk and not enough action. Our
kids are desperate for the kind of classrooms
and schools that they deserve to have.

Along the lines of party splits, the
Republican Party is split between the
Tea Party wing and the Establishment
Republicans. What do you think about
that?
Elan: I think that there are always splits.
There are always differences everywhere
you look. There are plenty of differences of
opinion in the Democratic Party. There’s the
left and the centrist. I think all of us need to
be focused on solutions, not about labels. If
I believe it’s not about Democrat/Republican
labels, it shouldn’t be about Tea Party and
left and all of these labels.
It should be about what works and what
doesn’t work. The truth is there’s so much
common ground that brings us together when
you look at some [of] the disputes. Never
mind Congress, Congress is especially polar-
ized, but look at America. Look at the
polarization in our country today. We need
to come together and find common ground.
There are always differences, and that’s nor-
mal. But if we obsess about the differences
that set us apart, we’ll ignore the vast major-
ity of issues and areas where we do have
common ground. Our future as a country
depends on us focusing on common ground.
Everyone wants safe schools. Everyone
wants a good economy. Everyone wants
clean air and clean water. Rather than obsess
about distinctions and differences, we need to
come together and move the country forward
together. We’re all in the same boat.
[Dahlia is a Democrat]. We don’t just talk
the talk, we live that way, and we agree on
practically everything we [discuss].

Tell us about how the both of you met.
Dahlia: One of my friends from high
school was throwing these parties for Jewish
singles and he invited me. I went because my
high school friends were going and I wanted
to see them. It turns out that [my friend’s]
older brother is a fraternity brother of Elan’s.
Darren invited Elan, and Steve invited me,
and that is where we met.
Elan: The rest is history. It was love at first
sight for me. Dahlia barely remembers our
conversation.
Dahlia: I know, it’s so embarrassing. But I
do remember that I definitely liked him, and
as I was leaving I had spoken to other high
school people.
Elan: We knew people there, so Dahlia
knew people, I knew people. We had a great
conversation but then we were also talking to
our friends and mingling.
Dahlia: So I left, and the person I was with
said, “Oh did you get that guy’s phone num-
ber or did he get your phone number?” and I
said, “Oh no, I didn’t.” But I can’t walk back
in to this party.
[Elan] was going to Israel the next day.
There’s a tradition where you give them
money for charity to give in Israel, and it’s
supposed to protect them. Like God would
protect them because they’re on a mission
to do good. That’s why I went in there and I
said, “I’m going to give him this dollar.” But
it turns out that he had already asked for my
phone number.
Elan: She had left because her friends
had left and I said, “Oh no, I didn’t get her
number.” I went up to [Steve] and said, “Hey
Steve, that girl Dahlia I was talking to,” and
he says, “Oh yah, she’s a classmate of mine.”
And I said, “She left, I didn’t get her num-
ber,” and he says, “No problem, I’ll get you
her number.”
At that point I knew I could get her num-
ber, so I was mingling with others. and then
she was trying to figure out the same thing.
She ended up coming back and said, “Didn’t
you say you were going to Israel? Here’s a
dollar for charity.” I said, “Oh that’s so nice,
and by the way, I don’t think I ever got your
number.”

Was this when you were still serving in
the military?
Elan: I was, but I wasn’t deployed yet. We
were dating for about a year before I was
mobilized for deployment. That was difficult.
These deployments are far more difficult for
the families who stay back. We’re so busy.
[When] you’re on deployments, [there’s] a
million things to do, but [for] the families,
it’s tough.

How were you able to keep in touch?
Elan: We weren’t engaged yet [and] it
wasn’t clear yet at that point what the future
was.
Dahlia: We decided that we were going
to…
Elan: …stay together…
Dahlia: …and see what happens. Thank
goodness that worked out.
Elan: She didn’t date anyone here in West
L.A. I didn’t date anyone in Iraq. I got the
better end of the deal.
Dahlia: Thank goodness for technology.
He was able to use a phone every now and
then to call me and we were able to e-mail.
We were able to stay in contact and com-
municate.
Elan: It’s not easy to go to war, but it made
me appreciate how much easier it is today
than in previous generations. We have com-
puters [and] we have phones. I was thinking
[about] World War II [and] these kids went
away [for] three years or two years [and] a
letter takes weeks.
Dahlia: It’s funny, Elan has this tradition.
He calls everybody on their birthday. Every
day he has a few birthday calls to make. He
was able to keep [the tradition] up when he
was in Iraq and many people say, “I will
never forget the birthday call I received from
Baghdad.” He was very diligent about that.
Elan: We got engaged a few months after
I got back.
Dahlia: It was worth it.

Do you still have that dollar Dahlia gave
you?
Elan: No, I gave it away to charity at the
Western Wall.
Dahlia: In fact he e-mailed me when
he was there and said, “I just want you to
know…”
Elan: …I just gave your dollar away.

Tell us about your family.
Dahlia: We just had a baby two months
ago, [Sam]. He’s so sweet. We have two
daughters; six and a half [year old] Hannah
and three and half [year old] Rachelle.
They’re wonderful, they’re very sweet. They
have us wrapped around their little fingers.
They’re very special. Of course every parent
thinks that their kids are special, so we think
that ours are very special.
Elan: [Hannah] is at Pressman [Academy]
day school. [Rachelle] will be joining her
next year.

Dahlia, it seems like politics is new for
you.
Dahlia: Elan was eleven years old when he
became politically aware. I’ve been aware of
politics, and since marrying him, [even] more
so, but this experience has been very eye
opening about this world that I’ve never been
a part of, and eye-opening for Elan as well.

In what ways has it been interesting and
eye-opening?
Dahlia: We’ve gotten to meet a lot of very
interesting, passionate people who care so
deeply about this country, this district [and]
these cities and it’s been wonderful to see.
Elan: That’s the greatest pleasure. Meeting
wonderful people who you admire and
believe in you. It’s overwhelming.
Dahlia: It’s a wonderful experience. We’re
busy [and] we get pulled from all sides, but
he takes it all with great aplomb. He handles
that kind of pressure and stress very well.
[Elan] as a [Distric Attorney]. There’s a con-
stant juggle, especially when you’re on trial
there’s constant juggling, and he handles it
very well.

How do you balance everything with your
careers and family life?
Elan: We make it work [and] we’re very
attentive parents. We spend a lot of time
together on date nights and we’re there for
each other and for our kids. Not everyone is
like that and for us it’s very important.
Dahlia: We have an incredible support
system. Elan’s mom and stepdad live in
Westwood [and] my parents live very close
by. They are very involved and they help a
lot.
Elan: It’s great for them and it’s great for
our kids who adore their grandparents. For
kids to have grandparents in their lives, it’s
wonderful.
Dahlia: I grew up living next door to my
grandparents for a long time, and I had a very
close relationship with them. If you can have
that, it’s a wonderful gift to give to your chil-
dren. We’re very lucky to be able to do that.
Elan: Mine were very much in my life as
well. [Though] they were not next door, they
were in Israel, but very close [to me] as well.

Tell voters why you’re a better candidate
than your opponent Ted Lieu.
Elan: I have a track record of service.
Every opportunity I’ve had to stand up, help
people and keep people safe, I’ve done it. I
joined the army before 9/11 because I wanted
to serve. I volunteer[ed] to deploy to Iraq. In
Iraq I led an anti-terrorism team. I saw the
war on terrorism up close and personal. I was
shot at, I was in the presence of car bombs
and then I prosecuted terrorists in Iraq. When
it comes to keeping people safe overseas I’ve
got a great track record.
Then I came back here as a gang prosecu-
tor. I deal with the most challenging issues
that we can deal with. Those issues aren’t
just punishing criminals because it’s not just
about putting them in jail. It’s about stopping
crime before it starts and that means fixing
our schools [and] taking care of our kids. As
a gang prosecutor I know what it takes to take
care of our kids so that they don’t go to crime
in the first place. I think that makes my track
record different and very much relevant to
what we’re doing today.
Schools need to be taken care of, jobs
need to be brought back to California so that
when our kids graduate from schools [they]
will have economic opportunity and a place
to work. That’s critical. I think those are the
issues that voters want to hear and want to
talk about and those are the issues my cam-
paign is about. I think we’re going to be able
to gain a lot of traction with the voters on that
from both parties.

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